How To Start Your Blockchain Developer Journey
Blockchain is one of the most exciting technological innovations in recent times. As an efficient, decentralized, secure, and immutable method for performing transactions and executing agreements with no intermediaries, blockchain is set to disrupt the way business is done.
According to a survey by Markets and Markets, the global blockchain market is set to grow from a global valuation of $4.9 billion (in 2021) to $67.5 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 68.4%.
According to Statista, global spending on blockchain solutions is set to increase to around $19 billion by 2024.
PwCs “Time for Trust” report on the blockchain market predicts that the technology could improve global GDP by approximately $1.76 trillion by 2030!
The stats spell it out clearly – the future is bright for Blockchain.
But it doesn’t stop there. Some of the biggest enterprises in the world have been investing heavily in the blockchain market – electronics giant Samsung, investment giant BlackRock and the technology titan Alphabet, parent company of Google.
With such a heavy investment in the blockchain sector, there is an unprecedented demand for skilled labor. As someone looking to embark upon a Blockchain development career, this is fantastic news. There is plenty of demand for blockchain developers, and it is only going to grow as the widespread adoption of blockchain solutions happens.
What does a blockchain developer do?
As a blockchain developer, you will essentially be tasked with programming, developing, and testing blockchain software systems. There are two major types of blockchain developers.
Blockchain Software Developers: These developers build applications on top of pre-existing blockchain platforms. They are responsible for design, front-end and back-end development, and maintenance.
Core Blockchain Developers: These developers build and maintain the architecture of blockchain systems from the ground up. They are responsible for designing the protocols that govern the network, developing security systems, and supervising the smooth functioning of the overall network.
What kind of work will you be expected to do as a Blockchain developer?
As a blockchain developer, your work will involve implementing blockchain technology applications and building decentralized applications. More specifically, you may have to work on
Smart contracts: You will be required to build smart contracts using programming languages like Solidity and Golang.
Blockchain architecture: You will be required to build blockchain architecture, which means developing consensus protocols, nodes and ensuring the overall security of the network.
Decentralized applications (dApps): You will work on designing the frontend and backend of dApps and work on integrating other blockchain tech such as smart contracts and decentralized storage.
Collaborating with stakeholders and developers: Extensive collaboration with a team of developers and managing client and organizational expectations is an essential skill for all blockchain developers.
Constant learning: The blockchain industry evolves rapidly, and as a developer, you will be expected to keep yourself up-to-date with all of the latest trends, best practices, and new technology.
How Difficult is it to Become a Blockchain Developer?
Blockchain is a tech-heavy field, and developers are expected to have a specific set of skills that can be tough to garner. While your individual aptitude and interest levels may make things more or less difficult, in general, you will need to have an expert-level understanding of several programming languages, cryptography, and distributed systems.
You will also need to familiarize yourself with concepts that are essential to blockchain technology such as decentralized consensus mechanisms, cryptography, and smart contracts.
Blockchain development is definitely a challenging career path and one that requires a significant amount of time and dedication along with the willingness to learn new skills. But, if you’re in it for the long haul and are willing to put in the work, it can be an incredibly lucrative and fulfilling career choice.
Your Roadmap to Becoming a Blockchain Developer
Now that we’ve built a little bit of context around blockchain development, let us chart out a path that you can follow to become successful in this industry.
Step 1: Building an Academic Framework
As we’ve touched upon, blockchain is a very tech-heavy field and you need to be comfortable handling complex technologies and new ideas. It is highly recommended that you build a strong foundation in computer science, data structures, algorithms, and related disciplines.
There are two entry-level resources that can help you get started.
Step 2: Learn how to code
Programming expertise is absolutely essential for blockchain developers. Since you will be working with different data structures, system architectures, protocols, and programming languages, you need to be up to the task.
You will need to become proficient in some of the languages that are commonly used for blockchain projects, such as Solidity, Java, and Python. Here are some helpful resources to get you started.
Step 3: Learn Cryptography
As the enabler of secure and verifiable transactions on the blockchain, cryptography is another essential skill for a blockchain developer. You’ll need to have at least a basic understanding of cryptographic concepts like digital signatures, hashing algorithms, public and private keys, encryption, and decryption.
We recommend the Stanford Cryptography Course as a great resource for beginners who want to dive deeper into the world of cryptography.
Step 4: Understanding Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are essentially computer programs that auto-execute the terms of a contract when certain predefined conditions are met. The terms of the agreement between the buyer and seller are embedded into the code of the contract. Since smart contracts are stored and executed on the blockchain, they are transparent and immutable.
You will need to develop an intimate understanding of how smart contracts can be used to automate transactions such as asset transfers, payments, and identity verification. Solidity is the premier language used to build smart contracts, so you will need to get good at it.
In addition to the Solidity course we mentioned earlier, you should also go through the official Solidity Documentation for more information and links to other helpful resources.
Step 5: Understanding data structures and blockchain architectures
Since you will be working with data structures on varied blockchain architectures, it is important you are familiar with both concepts. You will need to learn how to use data structures like hash tables, trees, and linked lists. UC San Diego’s Data Structures and Performance Course is a fantastic starting point for beginners to this topic.
You will also need to understand how different blockchain architectures such as public, private, and consortium blockchain work.
Step 6: Gain proficiency in Ethereum and DApps
Ethereum has become one of the most widely used blockchain platforms for building decentralized applications. You’ll need to learn how Ethereum works from the ground up – the architecture, tools, and the ecosystem that surrounds it.
To get started with learning Ethereum, we suggest the following resources.
Step 7: Get some real-world experience
The best way to imbibe new learnings is to actually go out and get some hands-on experience with the skills that you have learned so far as a budding blockchain developer. Based on everything you’ve learned so far, try your hand out at building some actual blockchain applications. Many blockchain resources provide testing modules that you can use while you’re learning. If you’re able to, try to secure an internship with an organization that is working in the blockchain domain. The connections and mentors you will gain from working at a real blockchain firm will dramatically accelerate your learning curve.
At Tanla, we strongly believe in the power of blockchain technology to revolutionize the way we do business and bring about powerful societal and economic change. Our flagship products Wisely and Trubloq are testaments to the incredible power of blockchain technology as a platform for secure, seamless, and zero-dispute transactions.
We wish you well on your journey to becoming a blockchain developer. And who knows, we just might have a spot for you on Team Tanla in the years to come!